Monday, January 05, 2009

1/5/09: Frost/Nixon (2008)

Peter Morgan adapted the screenplay from his own stage play. It's a (very) slightly flctionalized dramatization of the real-life interviews disgraced President Richard Nixon did back in the summer of '77 with British TV personality David Frost. It was apparently Nixon's plan to snare an easy $600 grand by doing the equivalent of a "puff piece" interview with Frost—who surprised everybody by being much better informed and researched than Nixon could have guessed. It's a battle of wits as Frost attempts to trick the Trickster into admitting his guilt in the Watergate affair; the film shambles along at its own pace until the electrifying third act, where Frost finally confronts Nixon about Watergate. Certain dramatic licenses were obviously taken (the real interviews did not climax with Watergate, and Nixon's movie "confession" is wildly blown out of proportion), but it's still a fascinating—if fictionalized—account of the meeting of two very interesting public figures. With Michael Sheen as Frost and Frank Langella as the very sweaty ex-POTUS. Rating: 3/5.

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